COVID-19 is back in a big way for Floridians, with over 40,000 new cases recorded in the last four days. This includes Attorney General Ashley Moody, a Republican from Tampa who is vaccinated. Florida accounts for about 25% of the news cases nationally in the last three days according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Maybe in an ode to donor pressure, Republicans around the country have visibly pivoted in the last week toward a more “moderate” position on COVID (though it can be asked what is moderation on a public health pandemic, saying we just want half as many getting ill?)Governor DeSantis continued to metaphorically fiddle while Florida burns.
Governor DeSantis continues to engage in the height of performative artistry, visiting the United States-Mexico border in Texas, shuttling down to Little Havana to host Sean Hannity and demagogue about the Biden Administration’s Cuba protest response (because American foreign policy should be dictated by a small number of agitators in Florida, correct?) and selling COVID-denial merchandise on his website. The image of the merchandise is so distasteful I hesitate to continue promoting it but because of its relevance to the topic at hand it is below.
The Governor has demonstrated in the last month he feels that consistently attacking and mocking an 80-year old lifetime public servant infectious disease specialist is the way govern. But once again Dr. Anthony Fauci has proven correct about the virus and Governor DeSantis, wrong.
“We look forward to this upcoming year to be a normal school year, be in person, and live like normal and learn like normal kids,” DeSantis said at a news conference on Thursday at Indian River Community College. “There’s been talk about potentially people advocating at the federal level, imposing compulsory masks on kids. We’re not doing that in Florida, okay. We need our kids to breathe. We need our kids to be able to be kids.”
The denial-ism is going to be deadly for our friends, members of our families and maybe even our children. If push comes to shove, DeSantis who has disrespected the autonomy local governments throughout the course of the last year should be reigned in by the CDC and Biden Administration. I don’t profess to know how that could be done legally, but all options have to be put on the table. To save lives in Florida, especially given DeSantis own unwillingness to allow local governments or private companies to put in place the sort of public health measures that would be best serve their constituents/customers.